Sunday, August 12, 2007

Every Single Day(?)

Tricycle's Daily Dharma for August 12, 2007 says the following.
The Buddha recommended that every person should remember every single day that we are not here for ever. It is a guest performance, which can be finished any time. We don't know when; we have no idea. We always think that we may have seventy-five or eighty years, but who knows? If we remember our vulnerability every single day, our lives will be imbued with the understanding that each moment counts and we will not be so concerned with the future. Now is the time to grow on the spiritual path. If we remember that, we will also have a different relationship to the people around us. They too can die at any moment, and we certainly wouldn't like that to happen at a time when we are not loving towards them. When we remember that, our practice connects to this moment and meditation improves because there is urgency behind it. We need to act now. We can only watch this one breath, not the next one. —Ayya Khema
I'm not so sure. Knowing that I'm going to die—now or some time from now—doesn't imbue me with the desire to live in the moment. It pushes me to do the things I want to do—such as writing this blog entry. Knowing that I'm going to die makes it more important to me that I write this now rather than wait for some other time when I might have more time and less to do. But I wouldn't call that living in the moment—at least not in the usual way I understand that term as meaning being aware of my immediate experience in the world. It may push me to become more aware of—and want to record—my mental experiences. Perhaps also that counts as living in the moment. If living in the moment refers to developing an awareness of one's subjective experience, however it is being experienced at the moment, then doing what I'm doing now is closer to living in the moment. In that case, it's unlikely that one can live in the moment with respect to all one's faculties simultaneously.

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